Chapter 1. The Twelve Tasks of Asterix

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


Caesar challenges the Gauls to perform twelve difficult tasks (a la Hercules) to prove that they are in fact Gods. Asterix & Obelix come forth to conquer all obstacles set before them...
This is a bit different. It's a book from the movie. Several of the books were made into movies (Asterix and Cleopatra was pretty decent, but this went the other way). It has pictures, but only as illustrations (drawn, not from the movie), and it has a heck of a lot more text. It doesn't seem to be written by Goscinny and Uderzo, nor translated by Bell and Hockridge. Not much to do here, it's written to a lower level. All of it is non-canonical. Harry Fluks has version that is by G&U, and consists of a newspaper strip transformed to album format. I don't think it exists as an English print. Wah! Despite the strange language of this book, Glen Koorey says that his book says that it was, indeed, translated by Bell and Hockridge.

Table 1.1. The Twelve Tasks of Asterix - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 6 The second time we see a naked female breast in Asterix books.
Page 7 All the Hercules stuff is true to myth.
Page 28-29 A strange anachronism. The train is the Paris Metro. What does the PZM stand for ???
Page 44 Ave Caesar! Morituri... = Hail Caesar! We who are about to die salute you
Page 52 Out of place with the series in general, where, of course, Caesar continues to try to torment the Gauls (and vice versa).

Table 1.2. The Twelve Tasks of Asterix - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Caius Tiddlus Tiddly: British for drunk, tipsy
Asbestos Fire-retardant cancerous material
Verses Divisions in a poem
Cylindric Having a cylindrical shape (like a roll of paper)
Iris The colored portion of the eye
Calorifix Calorific: something that generates heat